What is the significance of having notarized?

A Notary Public’s seal indicates on a document indicates it has been notarized. But what does it mean to have something notarized and when is it needed?

Not all documents require notarization, but many do. For instance, banks, other financial institutions and the court system often require documents to be notarized.

It’s the Notary Public’s role to verify the identity of the person signing the document. The Notary will also confirm the signatory understands the meaning of what she or he is signing.
What are the steps to notarization?

  • You must present valid identification (a valid piece of government issued photo ID with another piece) to your Notary.
  • Your Notary will then ensure you understand and can attest to what you’re about to sign.
  • The Notary Public then witnesses your signature.
  • Once you have signed the document, the Notary will affix her or his stamp (or “seal”) to the document. The document is now notarized.
  • Having a document notarized is the same as swearing under oath in a court of law—you are saying that the facts contained in the document are true.

There are some documents a notary cannot witness, including separation agreements or any type of agreement that falls outside a notary’s area of practice (we recommend you seek the advice of a lawyer in these instances).

The act of notarizing a document or witnessing a signature is what most people think of when they think of notaries public, and indeed this is one of the primary functions of a notary.

Over the coming weeks, we will share more information about what Notaries can do for you in other areas as well.

Stay tuned.


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